An Inside Look At The Life Of A Toronto UFC Fighter
He doesn't pick the fights, he accepts the challenge.
Misha Cirkunov has just begun his career with the ultimate fighting championship in the light heavyweight category, (UFC) but he has already made history in his first 2 fights.
In August 2015, Misha won his first UFC fight against Daniel Jolly, under five minutes with a knockout. This defeat created a huge upstage for Cirkunov not only because of his win, but it was also the first ever UFC fight in Saskatoon,Canada. Misha won his second fight @ The MGM Grand in Las Vegas against Alex ‘the spartan’ Nicholson. In the second round Cirkunov rear naked choked him and broke his jaw - this is a finish the UFC has never seen before.
“The most well rounded fighter, is the better fighter; the more tricks you know the better you are,” says Cirkunov. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a UFC fighter? I had the opportunity to ask Misha questions that will have some answers for you. Here’s a look into the professional fighters life:
1) How did you get into the sport?
I’ve been training martial arts my whole entire life, for me I consider it to be part of my culture. I began practicing judo when I was about 8 years old, but I had my first competing tournament at the age of 10. The sport is very motivating for me, it keeps me healthy and in shape; it makes me feel really good, especially if I’m ever down.
2) What does it mean for you to be in the UFC?
I am at the best stage of my life right now because I made it to the UFC. I am happy to be part of such a great and fair organization, which completes drug tests and monitors enhancements that fighters take to improve themselves in the ring. This way I know I’m getting a fair challenge during my fights. Being in the UFC means my hard work has payed off, but it doesn’t stop there because now I need to work even harder to face my opponents and be the best I can be.
3) Fighters are known to experience a high level of adrenaline out on the ring, can you explain this feeling?
You don’t get into it, it’s something that happens naturally. However during a fight, you cannot let the adrenaline take over your focus. It’s a life or death kind of situation, you have to learn how to control fear, adrenaline, anxiety or whatever your body and mind is experiencing.
4) What does your everyday routine consist of?
I like to wake up fully charged and refreshed, 100% like my iPhone. I’ll be up around 9 am and won’t have a huge breakfast, instead I fill myself with a lot of fluids like coffee,water and freshly squeezed juice (that is a big part of my diet.) In my opinion hydration is key in order to keep your body running properly throughout the day.Then I got to the gym and have a high intensity training session, whether it’s strengthening, conditioning, cardio, technical work or sparring so I can sweat it all out. Everyday is different for me, I don’t time my workouts, I set objectives and tasks before I go to the gym and make sure I complete them. I teach 4 classes a week at Xtreme Couture Fitness Etobicoke, in Brazilian jiu jitsu (with no-gi.) to adult classes that vary in ages from 16 to 70.
5) How do you prepare for a fight?
I increase the amount of training I would perform during my everyday routine x 2. I make sure to warm up my body by going to the sauna and doing some stretching so I don’t injure myself. I work to accomplish certain tasks, sometimes this task can take 1 hour, others it can take up to 5 hours. In MMA there’s no guided formula, everyone does things differently and it doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. It’s like a finger print you’re trying to match, in order to work with different people and their fighting style.
6) Do you like to stand with your opponents or take them to the ground?
I just like to fight, I enjoy my fights regardless, how ever they go. There’s no vertigo for me. If you take a look at my fight resume, I know a variety of different finishing techniques. I try to be the best in all elements. You can have an overall game plan before a fight, but you can’t depend on it because you never know what’s going to happen in the ring.
7) If you could have one dream fight with someone, who would it be?
There's no dream fight for me, it’s not my job to pick the fights, it’s my job to prepare for them mentally and physically. Right now I want to fight anyone, whoever it takes to win the light heavy weight UFC belt. I want to make my passion and career worth every bit of hard work and sacrifice.
8) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’ll be a lot older, I will most likely retire by then and have my own school because I don’t only enjoy practicing the sport but I also like teaching it. I want to introduce this art to the new and younger generation.
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